Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Paris Uke Fest. : A great experience! – Part Two

08 2009

After the Open Mic session, it was time for the “choses sérieuses” (the real thing) as Lionel diplomatically put it :) The Ukulele Boyz entered the room and started strumming frantically among all of us, singing covers of well-known French and Spanish songs in a very energetic manner.

PUF 2009 Ukulele Boyz

This was welcome as we were quite a few to feel drowsy because of the heat, using programmes as fans to try and create a breathe.Things got even better when the Sugarsnap Sisters started singing a song written by Cousin Alice who played the banjolele. I really enjoyed their performance, the lovely vocal harmonies between Tricity Vogue, Cousin Alice and Rosa Conrad. They covered songs such as “Raindrops keep falling on my head” and “Hit the road Jack”

PUF 2009 The Sugarsnap Sisters

Tim Sweeney then demonstrated his guitar pick techniques on different songs among which “Fly me to the moon”. After so much enthusiasm, it was time to become more introspective with the performance of Kelli Rae Powell from the US. Her music was very subdued and melancholic and she commented on the fact that “There is nothing bad that cannot worsen”. What a cheerful prospect… Her voice was however very poignant.

PUF 2009 Kelli Rae Powell

Ukulelezaza displayed his strumming skills with his band The Red Cats, named after Ukulelezaza’s very own red cat. The band consists of a double bass, a guitar and a ukulele, ukulelezaza’s Martin Style 3K. They played lively instrumentals.

PUF 2009 Ukulelezaza and the Redcats

I must admit I have not been that attentive when Marie Darling came on stage as I finally got to chat with Alex from the COULE and to test the kitschiest Flea I have ever seen…so I caught up when watching the film sequences Morten had taken. She certainly has personality, her face very (over?) expressive and her style so personal. Her strumming was something too.

PUF 2009 Marie Darling

But Patti Plinko and her Boy got my full attention when they came up stage. It started slowly but their music quickly gained intensity. I think it’s the first time I see someone use as much energy on stage. She literally lived the songs with her guts, challenging her guitar playing Boy to play faster, roaring like a feline or alternatively languorously stretching. Quite spectacular. It’s been my favourite concert of the evening.

PUF 2009 Patti Plinko and Her Boy

Finally punk Elvira Bira from Sweden performed with her yellow Makala and with her father playing tuba as the rest of her band was not there. She too had a voice. To help you visualise the evening, here is a video of sequences filmed by Morten during the concerts. I hope that after watching this you will feel like attending next’s year Paris Uke Fest.

I’d like to end this post by thanking all the people who came to me to say that they enjoyed this blog. This has meant a lot to me. I hope to meet you again at other ukulele events.

You can also see additional pictures on Uke Hunt as Al has kindly invited me to write a post there.

If you haven’t seen the video of the first part of the Paris Uke Fest, you can find it in this post.


  1. Marcelo on the 9th of July 2009 @ 05:32

    Great post, Armelle… I’d love to be there at the fest. Maybe next year…

  2. Marcelo on the 9th of July 2009 @ 05:33

    Ps.: loved the video.

  3. Armelle Europe on the 9th of July 2009 @ 07:55

    Marcelo : hope to see you at the Fest. next year. Glad you’ve enjoyed the post.

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